marino auriti

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Il Enciclopedico Palazzo del Mondo (The Encyclopedic Palace of the World; detail, bottom photo) - Marino Auriti

Auriti, an auto-body mechanic, built this model in the 1950s of a museum meant to house a collection of “all the works of man in whatever field, discoveries made and those which may follow.” It was intended for the Mall in Washington, DC and would have boasted 136 stories, standing 2,322 feet high.

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<3 art | Marino Auriti’s “The Encyclopedic Palace”

The exhibition is titled “The Encyclopedic Palace,” after the model for an imaginary museum that was built by Marino Auriti, a self-taught Italian-American artist. Auriti’s museum was supposed to house all the knowledge in the world, and obviously it was never completed or realized. Taking inspiration from Auriti’s impossible dream of universal knowledge, “The Encyclopedic Palace” looks at the flights of imagination of artists who have tried to understand and see everything. It’s about visions and about the space left for internal images, for dreams, and for imagination in a culture submerged by artificial images.

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The American Folk Art Museum packs up Marino Auriti’s ‘Il Enciclopedico Palazzo del Mondo (The Encyclopedic Palace of the World)’ and prepares to send it to the 55th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia. Shot by William Philbin, edited by John Kingman.